It’s holiday season! Some of us are lucky enough to live in Cape Town while others are visiting for the entire festive season, and some are swinging by just for a weekend. If you fall into the latter category, here are a few suggestions of how to spend time in this stunning city.
On your marks, jet set, go! You have a 48 hour weekend coming up in gorgeous Cape Town and you need to maximise your minutes – see the sights, eat all the food, drink all the wine and drench your eyes with views. I grew up in Sea Point on the Atlantic Seaboard, and have been living in Oranjezicht in the City Bowl for almost 10 years, so the itinerary I’m presenting to you is wrapped into these two ‘hoods, both being well positioned areas in which to base yourself if visiting the Mother of all cities. I’ve also thrown in a wine valley experience. You’ll thank me later.
This is how to get two incredible days down in the Peninsula.
First up, get all the sleep you need on the plane, take a deep breath, and launch yourself into the adventure.
8am: But first, coffee. No need to sloth about and lie in. We’re on the tourist clock people! Pop into Kleinsky’s on Regent Road in Sea Point for the first caffeine fix of the day, a cappuccino on the go, paired with a toasted cream cheese & salmon bagel.
Sip and munch as you walk a few blocks down to hire a bicycle from Up Cycles, stationed next to the iconic Sea Point Pavilion , an art deco masterpiece (also fabulous for an early morning swim, no matter the season), and take a leisurely ride along the scenic Sea Point Promenade. Combine exercise with a to-faint-for-views as you pedal with waves crashing alongside, seagulls gliding above and Lions Head presiding. Try beating that anywhere else in the world.
9.30am: Breakfast is next and The Power & the Glory in Tamboerskloof is my recommendation – order the scrambled eggs with avo, spread thickly with cream cheese topped with basil pesto, with roasted tomatoes on the side. Or have a bowl of porridge like baby bear. Before you leave, let ace barista Thando make your second coffee of the day. P&G is also a hipster bar by night, where I feel right at home, even without high rise 80’s vibe jeans.
10.30am: Table Mountain beckons. No trip to my town is complete without experiencing this New7Wonder of the World. Book online to avoid the queues and catch the cable car up and be amazed by the most breathtaking views … Robben Island, Signal Hill, the entire city and surrounds, on one side, and Camps Bay beach and the Clifton coves (all Blue Flag beaches by the way) and the Twelve Apostles mountain range on the other. Free wifi is available on top of the world too so you can spend some time in the cafe catching up on work and then do a walkabout and upload your pics and comments to your heart’s content. Your Insta timeline will never look this good!
Noon to 2pm: Lunch overlooking the harbour beckons and for this, there’s no better place than Harbour House on Quay 5 at the V &A Waterfront… the langoustines are superb. Afterwards, visit the curio shops in the mall for top quality product and buy some fine SA wine at Vaughan Johnson’s, right next to the big Cape Wheel…a few revolutions on the latter will show you the Mother City as far as the eye can see.
4pm: No use fighting off that urge to slow down a tad and take a siesta. Kill two birds with one hot stone and have a massage at the One & Only Spa close by – you can always snatch another shut-eye at your hotel before dinner.
6.30pm: Batteries re-charged, it’s time for a pre-dinner drink and the gin bar behind Honest Chocolate on Wale Street is a fabulous choice (buy some decadent chocolate at the store while you’re at it – it’s good for you!). Artisanal gin in Cape Town is a thing- there’s no shortage of superb brands made at boutique distilleries, so be sure to ask your bar tender for recommendations (try Hope on Hopkins or Inverroche Amber and thank me later).
8pm: Dinner at the chic new kitchen and bar, Mulberry & Prince on Pepper Street. Gorgeous food matched by stellar service and stylish decor.
10pm: Next level cocktails at Outrage of Modesty in Shortmarket Street just off buzzing Bree, the ‘it’ street in CT that showcases the best of (almost) everything!
Make Sunday more of a chill day, drop the pace a little. See the peninsula from the sky and take a helicopter flip to the Twelve Apostles and have breakfast overlooking a vast expanse of ocean and Lions Head …incomparable eye candy. And then, how about taking a drive out to Franschhoek, one of the most exquisite wine valleys in the Cape, if not the world, about 50 minutes from the CBD?
Come rain or shine it’s gorgeous, with some of the most spectacular scenery you’ll ever see. Wine tastings are a big thing and a good place to start is at Noble Hill, where you sit fireside, uncork a fine cab sav and have a light Mexican tapas lunch at Cosecha. Haute Cabriere up on the hill does superb bubbly, and high tea at La Residence (book one in advance) is a sumptuous sweet and savoury offering. Plop into a big be-cushioned comfy chairs and absorb the glorious setting.
As you head back to the city, let the memories of the weekend ease the painful thoughts of your imminent Monday. Cape Town is always a winner, and waiting for you to visit and to return, time and again!
Go large: 100 things to do in South Africa